Training for a Half Marathon on a Treadmill

This blog has documented my training for a small handful of half marathons.

In August 2010, I detailed my workouts and training regimen for the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. Last year, I blogged about my training for the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon and Women’s Half Marathon in November 2011.

savannah finish

savannah rock n roll half marathon

The first half marathon I ran was back in December 2007, two years before I began blogging. What you may not know about my first half marathon is that I trained for the entire race on the treadmill.

Not once did I run outside before race day.

I completed two week-day five-mile runs on the treadmill and every Sunday I did my long run on the treadmill. (I followed Hal Higdon’s novice training plan.)


I was a new runner and was intimidated by outdoor running.

I know this probably sounds absolutely crazy to many of you, but running safely on a treadmill took a lot of the “what ifs” out of running. It made it simple, predictable and hard to mess up, which was exactly what I was looking for at the time. I didn’t have a watch to track my distance and pace and figured mapping out a route on left a lot of room for error if I went out to tackle a long run on my own since I am directionally challenged.

Now I take running very seriously

turkey trot costumes

Can’t you tell? Winking smile

After receiving an email from a reader inquiring about training for a half marathon solely on a treadmill, I figured it might make an interesting topic for a blog post. The reader said she hates running outside because she gets bored and enjoys catching up on her favorite TV shows while she runs on her treadmill at home.

(Oddly enough, I think the number one complaint for running on a treadmill from most people is that it’s boring, but everyone is entertained in different ways!)

About halfway through training for my first half marathon on the treadmill in 2007, I spoke with a trainer at my local gym in Orlando because I was worried about my training.

The man I spoke with is an amazing runner and flies all over the world working as a pacer for some big-name races. I asked him what he thought about me training for a half marathon by only running on a treadmill and I remember him saying the following:

  • It’s not ideal. Training on a surface similar to the surface you’ll be running on during the race you’re training for is the best thing you can do to properly condition your body for the race ahead.
  • It will work. Running is running. Some people think treadmills make them run slower while others think they make them run faster. If you follow your training plan and do all of your runs on the treadmill, your plan will work and you’ll be able to run a half marathon, just probably not the best half marathon you might be able to run.
  • Add a slight incline. Slightly change the incline every so often to mimic outdoor running. You don’t need to run up a hill, but keeping the treadmill between and 1.0 and a 2.0 is more realistic than having absolutely no incline at all.

I finished my treadmill training and ran the entire race in December 2007, but I was hurtin’! My first half marathon was definitely the most challenging one I’ve run yet (followed closely by the hotter-than-Hades Women’s Half Marathon this year).

Can I attribute this solely to the fact that I only trained on the treadmill?

Of course not!

Running your first half marathon teaches you a lot about training for your second half marathon. I trained for my three subsequent half marathons outside and felt much more prepared for each of those races, but I also paid more attention to proper fueling, among other things. While I personally wouldn’t train for a half marathon by running only on a treadmill again, I know many people adore treadmill running. (Janae even ran an entire marathon on a treadmill, but she’s crazy hardcore.)

So, my runner friends, what do you think?

Other posts relating to half marathon training include:

Questions of the Afternoon

  • Have you ever trained for a race by running only on a treadmill?
  • What do you think about training for a race a treadmill? Can you see both pros and cons to training this way?


  1. says

    I’ve been training for a marathon 90-95% on a treadmill. Mostly because I live in Michigan and we get show and ice, but I’ve done my last 3 long-runs (14, 16, 18) all outside and will continue doing my long runs outside until my race on April 22.

    I needed the treadmill at first for the weather and because I was coming off of a hamstring injury and needed a little less impact. I always run on at least a 1% incline, so I knew at least that way I was okay. I actually think that it has improved my mental toughness SO much. The furthest I went on a treadmill was 14 miles and it takes a lot of effort to stick through that when you don’t have a changing scenery to look at.


  2. says

    Thank you SO much for this post. I’m running my first half marathon on Saturday, and I trained entirely on a treadmill–not by choice, but because there’s nowhere in my neighborhood where I feel comfortable and safe running outdoors by myself, as a young female. This post is soothing my nerves a bit, since so many people have been giving me the stink eye when I tell them I’ve been training indoors.

    Here’s hoping I’ll have some triumphant news to report next weekend!


  3. Kaella N says

    I love this post! I actually trained for my FIRST race running only on a treadmill. I live in a climate that’s not ideal for outdoor running, year round, so I stuck to the gym. I didn’t mind it; however, as soon as I moved my running and training to outside I realized what I was missing out on. I love people watching and the change of scenary. I run faster and the runs go by faster when I’m outside. I don’t mind running on a treadmill when it’s -30 and snowing, but otherwise I prefer the great outdoors 🙂


  4. says

    The majority of my training for my first half-marathon was on a treadmill, too. I took some runs outside, but not many because I was training in the middle of winter and was living in upstate new york right next to lake ontario…my booty was not dedicated enough to brave those freezing temps and winds. cozy treadmills for the win.


  5. says

    Love, love, love this post! As a primarily treadmill runner, I’m beginning my first half marathon training today and have been thinking about how to balance my comfort of running on a treadmill with what I think the importance of practicing to run outside is. I have a lot of the same hesitations you had — getting hurt, not tracking miles right, etc. I really enjoyed reading this post and it will definitely be helpful as I move forward in training.



  6. says

    It can be done, but I wouldn’t want to. 🙂

    I know many people have to train up through marathons on a treadmill due to weather and/or children. The pros: you get your runs in, no excuses. The cons: your legs are used to the soft, cushioned ground of the treadmill. The reality: run when and where you can, just run. 🙂


    • AceRunn says

      I love the quote at the end of your response! I may need to put that in my car/gymbag/phone screen to use as a motivator when I dont feel like getting my runs in!


  7. says

    This pist is perfect for me today. Yesterday I ran my first 5k in almost a year! All my running leading up to it was on the treadmill. I think running outside is definitely harder, but the treadmill has got me going again. With the Florida heat coming quick I will need to find balance between outside and treadmill in order to train for my scheduled 10 mile race in September.


  8. says

    I agree with Ellen! Mental toughness is huge. I am currently training for my first half marathon on May 6th, and since I moved to the city, most of my running has taken place in the comfort of my apartment on the treadmill. I mean, it’s great being able to watch movies and cooking shows while running (a little ironic, with the cooking shows!), but I have slowly started to venture outside for group runs and shorter workouts on the pavement. It’s easy to run outside in my small hometown because it’s not nearly as busy and there are no intersections. However, I am proud of myself for getting on the treadmill for those 11 mile runs some days. It has helped me become stronger & I find I am faster when I DO go outside!


  9. says

    I looooove the treadmill. I don’t have to worry about my pace and I can watch a movie and totally zone out. I don’t have to hold my water and I’m in A/C. I’m done before I know it. They should have INDOOR half marathons! 🙂

    My first half sucked and I trained mostly on the treadmill. But it sucked because I didn’t pay attention to any of the other factors like nutrition and running shoes (2 of the most important things, IMO). Ran my first and last race in Nike Shox. And ate my first and last 2 Gus during that race. I wanted to die at the end. I’m much smarter about it now. 🙂

    I think training on a treadmill is perfectly fine. And they say that 1% incline is close to what you get outdoors.


  10. says

    Funny that you just posted about this! I’ve done the vast majority of my running on a treadmill, which made me really nervous about signing up for a road race. I’ve used the “Im not used to running on a road” excuse to put it off ,and I finally caved, registered and started running outside this weekend.

    The two runs were SO much better than I expected! Pacing was a little difficult, but even without obsessing over the pace I finished in the same time as a treadmill run..and it was so much more fun mentally!


  11. Ali says

    I personally can totally relate to this. I ran my first 1/2 by training on a treadmill as well, due to tough new england winters. Unfortunately, I wound up with terrrrrible “runners knee” which I attribute largely to training on a treadmill. Running outside is much high impact, thus my body was not used to or prepared for 13.1 miles on concrete. I was unable to run for 6 months after my 1/2, so I definitely advocate running at least SOME portion of training runs outside!!


  12. says

    Awhile back before I was serious about running, I ran solely on the treadmill. The first time I ran a race outside, it was 100x more difficult. Now, I actually find the reverse, outside tends to feel easier and treadmill feels more difficult. I still certainly use my treadmill but I prefer outside, sometimes the treadmill is the only option. While I think it can work for those where it’s the only option, I think I’d wonder why someone who does not enjoy running outdoors and gets bored would really even want to run a half?


  13. Jennifer T says

    I just finished my first half and was a little upset by my time (2:15) when I knew I could do better. What was your time on your first half and have you seen significant improvement on you other races?


  14. lisa@thedailyrundown says

    I just ran my 2nd marathon yesterday and my training for that race was 100% on a treadmill. I haven’t run outside since December 8th. My first marathon the only runs I ran outside were my long runs every Saturday. My first half was probably 90% treadmill.
    I live in Atlanta so the weather is actually great for training outside but I’ve got two children under the age of 4 and the treadmill is my only consistent option, a jogging stroller is not an option, neither of my kids have ever used a stroller.
    I LOVE the treadmill and don’t have an issue transitioning from road to ‘mill.
    I think it’s important to do some “hill” training on the treadmill if it’s going to be a hilly race.


  15. Ashley says

    Great post, Julie – thank you! I’ve actually never fully trained for a half-marathon (I tried once but ended up with stress fractures :().. but hope to this summer! Right now I’m training for a 10k and find that doing one long (if you can call 10k long…) run once a week, combined with a speed (interval) run + hill run works best. I love doing the long runs outside, but find doing the speed + hill runs more effective on the treadmill where I can better control the inclines and have to FORCE myself to get up to a certain speed. Doing the long runs outside is KEY though since you can get yourself used to different surfaces, wind, sun, etc 🙂


  16. says

    I think it’s all about personal preference and your mindset! For me, I actually think running on the treadmill is more difficult because when I am on a treadmill it is too easy to stop and give up. If I am running outside I have to keep going because I am not going to stop if I am 6 miles away from my house. I used to hate the treadmill and I couldn’t run over 2-3 miles on a treadmill even though I could run 4-6 outside. Now, I usually need to run inside on a treadmill because I am running when it’s dark outside and I have just trained myself to get better at the treadmill. It just depends on the mindset going into it!


  17. says

    I don’t think training on a treadmill is crazy at all. Personally I find it easier to run outdoors so in that sense, treadmill training could be beneficial. Also for those with weak joints may benefit too!! Different strokes for different folks right!


  18. says

    I love running on a treadmill because I can control my speed, I feel safer (bathroom, people, water all nearby and I can stop and go home if I’m hurting), and honestly, I think it’s easier. I haven’t trained for a whole race on a treadmill though, I always do long runs outside so it’s more similar to a race situation.


  19. says

    I think training on a combination of surfaces is certainly the best option, IF you have that option. But I realize that some people don’t. When I was still living in Ohio, I was doing the majority of my running over the last several months on a treadmill because it was cold outside and I’m a big baby. But since moving to Georgia, I’ve had the opportunity to do more outdoor runs. I’ve also been able to run on trails, roads, concrete, dirt, up and down hills, etc etc. I think the variety has made me stronger and faster so I’m glad I have this opportunity, but like you said … running on the treadmill alone is do-able.


  20. says

    Have you noticed that Hal Higdon’s training plans now call for 4 runs a week instead of 3? Do you think running 3 times a week is enough? I’ve been trying to run 4… but it’s been tough and I’m scared to injure myself!


    • says

      i think it depends. i felt adequately trained running 3x a week (i only ran 3x a week for every single half i trained for), though i think 4 days would obviously benefit many people, too. i just didn’t want to give up several days of strength training!


  21. says

    I have a hard time training on the treadmill – which I attribute mostly to my lack of concentration. Exercise ADD + treadmill = a bad combination. I do try to combat the EADD with interval training – I’m definitely an outdoor girl at heart though!


  22. says

    I loved this comment: Running your first half marathon teaches you a lot about training for your second half marathon.

    I just ran my second half marathon this weekend, and I was having a discussion with a co-worker of mine this morning about this exact topic. I PRd at Saturday’s race and was attributing much of it to the course (which I felt was easier than my first race). My co-worker, who is a hardcore runner, said that the two courses are comparable (she’s done both) and made the very insightful comment that “During your first half marathon training and the race itself, you’re just focused on whether you can actually finish. During your training for the second, you’re focused on how FAST you can finish.” It was such a simple point and totally true: training for my first half was mentally and physically exhausting, and I completely burned out. This time around, I knew what to expect and was way more prepared for it (and trained better as a result!)

    That being said, I would never do ALL of my training on a treadmill. I did plenty of my runs on a treadmill during both training plans (sometimes due to weather, other times because I wanted to weight train afterwards, etc.) but your friend is right: those outdoor runs are KEY to getting your mind and body accustomed to what race day will be like.

    Very interesting (and timely!) post, Julie!


  23. says

    Yep, I trained for a race or two on the treadmill! I did PR one of them which was great to see, but I think that running on a real road is the best way to simulate the actual conditions. I run really early in the morning, so it’s pitch black outside and not exactly ideal solo running conditions. On these mornings, I stick with the treadmill (even for long runs), but on the weekends, I’m all about being outside.. well, as long as the weather is decent!


  24. says

    Great topic! I actually just started training for the Wisconsin Half Marathon in May and due to my work schedule and commute time I’m limited with the availability of outside daylight running time. My goal is to run all my long runs outside on the weekends when I have the time. Plus I make sure when I’m on the treadmill I’m playing with the speed and incline to keep pushing myself. I find that on the treadmill I’ll set it at one speed 0% incline and keep it there the entire run and by the time I’m done I hardly feel like I got a workout at all.


  25. says

    This was really interesting for me because I mostly run on the treadmill too – I’m a little intimidated by running outside. I’d like to run a 5k, but I find it SO much harder to run outside, even though I’ve been consistently running for 30 minutes or more on the treadmill for weeks.


  26. Rachel says

    I trained for the Krispy Kreme Challenge (run two miles, eat 12 donuts, run 2 miles) on a treadmill. Not because I needed to train for two miles, but because I needed to practice eating 12 donuts and running two miles. And I figured if I was going to hurl, better do it near a trashcan, than in someone’s front yard. 🙂


  27. Irini says

    I am not a fan of treadmill running at all, to the point where I’d rather run through snow and Canadian cold rather than be on a treadmill. It’s a little extreme, I know, but whatever works right?

    Btw, I love the picture of you and Ryan crossing the finish line hand in hand. It’s verrrrry cute!


  28. says

    SO happy you posted this today! I just started training for my first half and I was planning on lookin around on here later on for some tips. Talk about reading my mind! 🙂


  29. says

    I’m only training for a 10K race at the moment, but it’s my first race so I’m taking it very seriously 😉 I always thought I was never good at running, but seeing so many other bloggers and family members run made me want to challenge myself. When I first started running, I was intimidated by running outside because I thought that it was going to be so much harder. But even on the treadmill I always ran at a 1% incline (something my brother told me to do). Now, when the weather is nice I literally want to go running because I love spending time outside. Every outdoor run I do seems to be easier than the one I did before and I now feel really bored when I run on the treadmill.


  30. Cindy says

    I have done seven half-marathons trained entirely on treadmills. For some reason I cannot get outdoors to run.I have another half-marathon in May… maybe I should take advantage of the beautiful weather we are having and get outdoors. Any advice to help smooth the transition?


  31. Valerie @ FreshMutz says

    Great post. I think that the best way to train for a race is to mimic race conditions as much as possible. So with that said, running outside is a more beneificial way to train. But we don’t live in a perfect world and sometimes training runs have to be snuck in after dark or the weather is crappy, in which case a treadmill run is better than no run. I trained in the winter for a May marathon, and had to do some of my long runs on the treadmill. No big deal. I caught up on Glee and How I Met Your Mother. What I wasn’t prepared for was that the race occurred in freak 90 degree heat where I was used to running in freezing temps. It was definitely a shock to the system and solwed my roll.


  32. says

    Great post! Even further with the outdoor conditions – I’ve noticed I “think” I’m in great running shape in the winter running on a treadmill and then I go outside in the cold to run. My breathing is totally different and I feel winded. I think for training for a race, one will feel better during the race if he or she trains in similar conditions.


  33. Heather says

    Trained outside for my first half marathon which was is in November of 2009 – had a tough time and ended up laying down shortly past the finish line thinking I was surely going to die and that my Mom was going to kill me (as she kept telling me that I had no business trying to learn how to run after the age of 40 and that my poor boys would be orphans and my hubby a widower)

    My 2nd half marathon was at Disney in January of 2010 and we ended up with a snow filled December so I was forced to do pretty much all of my training and two long runs on a treadmill at the gym. That half marathon was 100% better – my time improved by eight entire minutes and I zoomed around Epcot until it closed that night at 9:00 not feeling one bit like I had run 13.1.

    Was the second race better because of the treadmill?? I don’t believe that was the case. I think like you said – I was better prepared and knew what to expect the second time around. (Learned that it is NOT a good idea to stop right after you cross the finish line but to keep moving slowly for a while so I would not get dizzy!)

    Did training on the treadmill hurt or help me?? I think it was great that I was able to keep moving when the snow and ice would have kept me from having any running in at all. So it did help me in that sense. It certainly didn’t hurt me as I was able to do so much better the second time around.


  34. says

    i didnt rain for any race on the treadmill but i remember during my training for Chicago, it was pouring outside so I ran my 12 miles on the treadmill. it actually wasn’t as bad as i thought. now, i think it would be MUCH harder. i can barely do 3 on the treadmill hah


  35. says

    These are great tips, but I would caution people not to do this. I had been doing marathon training mostly on the treadmill because of the cold weather. When it started to get warm, I decided to move outdoors for a 16 mile run and ended up injuring myself because of the drastic change in surface (pavement is a lot harder!). Now, I’m not running my marathon anymore because I haven’t been able to run for a month! So to anyone who is thinking of doing this, maybe think twice??? I’d hate to see anyone get injured like me. It’s the pits!


  36. Caiti S. says

    I’m a new reader and really love this topic! I’ve never run in a marathon but I used to be an avid outdoor runner. One day I was out for my morning run and a truck drove off the road and hit me. Now, for safety purposes, I workout primarily indoors.
    (Have to be cautious of all the crazy drivers in Gainesville!)


  37. says

    I’ve never ran on a treadmill for more than a few minutes but I am training outside for my first half marathon that is coming up in June, super excited and nervous! I would like a treadmill because it would help me get more runs in. I have twin 3 year olds which make it hard to get out there sometimes! But at the same time our house is at capacity LOL so I’ll just have to stick it out and run outside 🙂 My BFF runs on a treadmill a few times a week and says she feels she gets a much stronger workout, she may push herself more though. I think that running is awesome, but I would say that running outside if training for a race would be more beneficial just because you would get use to it a little more. OK Longest comment ever, SORRY! Love your Blog 🙂


  38. says

    I train primarily on the treadmill for the simple fact that I do not feel safe running at 4 am by myself. That is the only time I can run during the week. However when I trained for my first marathon I did all my long runs outside. It honestly depends on the person. I ran my fastest 10K recently doing all my runs, speed runs and everything on the treadmill. I personally love the treadmill because that’s my only option sometimes.


  39. says

    This is great information. Today marks my first day of training for my first half in June. I’m in UT and it’s still snowy here, so I do most of my week runs on a treadmill, but bundle up for my long runs on the weekend.
    You mentioned that your later halfs were better because you paid more attention to properly fueiling your body. I would love to hear more about how to properly fuel while running! (either through a blog post or reply)


  40. says

    Being in Canada I have done my fair share of my training on a treadmill since training starts in the middle of the winter and I am a huge wimp! Last year I even did many long runs on the treadmill for 3+ hours. No, it isn’t ideal but better than being out in -30 Celsius! It is also more convenient to have your water, snacks and washrooms easily available and not freezing your butt off. I always made sure to use a 1.0 incline as well.
    For speed training I love the treadmill and find it way easier to work on sprints using a tmill vs my Garmin.
    So short answer I think it is great to balance both tmill and outdoor running when training as both have their pros and cons.


  41. Adriann says

    Perfect timing for this great post! I have been thinking about running my first half marathon this spring, but have been running on a treadmill at the gym during the winter (i’m not one to run in the snowstorms here in Colorado) I am also worried about tracking my pace and distance! Thanks for the great insight!


  42. says

    I haven’t trained for a marathon, but I run on the treadmill more often than I do outside. Simply because the area I live in has no hills at all! I would have to go further down about 3 extra miles to catch some hills, so I just do it at the gym. Also, although outside running is more enjoyable, I love the fact that the treadmill allows for exact time/intervals and modifications in any way I desire, and it also helps me in getting less injuries.


  43. says

    Very interesting!! I personally wouldn’t train for a half marathon or any race solely on a treadmill because I tend to experience more IT band pain that way. But, that problem is not the case for everyone!

    I think one advantage to training on the treadmill is that it makes it easier to fit training into your schedule. For me, the most convenient time to work out is later on in the evening (8 or 9pm), a time at which I would not feel comfortable running outside alone! It also means you don’t have to work around the weather trying to avoid the hottest or coldest part of the day!


  44. Emily C says

    I just ran my first half in February and I trained for it on the treadmill. I felt great while I was running the race and even finished under 2 hours! Of course the race didn’t have many hills, it was in Disney and that might have helped some!


  45. says

    This is actually the reason why I’ve been afraid to run a race! I tend to only run on a treadmill, and then when I occassionally run outside it kills me. I should probably start incorporating more outdoor running, but I find it really intimidating….especially in the midwest humid summer heat.


  46. says

    I semi-trained for my first half on a treadmill – weekday runs were done indoors and my long run was always outdoors. You’re right in that it probably wasn’t my best effort, but it worked for me. I think when i train again, I’m going to do as much outdoor running as possible though.


  47. says

    i never ran outside before (or, really, since) doing a semi-spur-of-the-moment half. i share the email-er’s take on watching TV to pass the time.

    pacing was a challenge…it was a small race with no clocks so i had no clue how fast i was going and i did need to walk at the end (finished a maddening 2:01:57….just annoying to be SO close to under 2h).

    i also had a good bit of trouble in my calves. the race was all rolling hills and i think the DOWN actually was part of the issue since it uses different muscles


  48. says

    I started on the treadmill because I, too, was REALLY intimidated by running outside. I thought everyone was starting at how pathetic and slow I was. After I got much more confident with running, I can ONLY run outside. And guess what? NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO ME!! Shocker.

    I prefer not to train on the treadmill because, like your trainer said, I want to be fully prepared for my run. I want to know what it will feel like to run in the cold, wind, rain, heat, etc. I don’t want any crazy surprises come race day, except maybe an unforeseen beer tent!!


    • Candace says

      I think the way you do! I run outside ONLY when it’s dark b/c I think everyone is watching me and thinking to themselves “she’s barely running. I could walk quicker than that!” However, I’m trying to get over this b/c I hate the treadmill and I really enjoy outside scenery AND tracking my route on Runkeeper (I’m a nerd that way 😉 . You’ve motivated me to get going again outside (when my bronchitis clears up!)


  49. says

    Some day I would love to run a half-marathon but today I’m very far away. I run 3 time a week but I run not even half what you run and theese last times it has felt even harder than it usually does. I’m never giving up but I din’t know why running gets harder every time and why it doesnät get easier?


    • says

      running is HARD. you’re doing great by just keeping at it. i must agree with you in that running never really feels easy for me, but it does give me a great sense of accomplishment. i just try to focus on how i feel AFTER a run. 🙂


      • says

        This morning as I kept wanting to stop running each step I took I had your words as a mantra in my head. “focusing on how it feels afterwards”… “focusing… afterwards” etc. Yeah, it didn’t help as in it got easier but I got through it and afterwards I was mighty proud of myself. You’re such an inspiration!


  50. Serena says

    I trained for my first full marathon almost exclusively on a treadmill. I had 3 children and two of them weren’t in school yet so I ran daily on the treadmill. Whenever I got outside I appreciated so much more.


  51. Katie says

    I am a complete new runner and I’ve been training for a 5k and now a 10k solely on the treadmill because my neighborhood isn’t good for running. I know that once this 10k is over I will be training on the treadmill for my first half-marathon because the weather will be crazy hot. I know that for myself the treadmill is a good way to build me up to running because running has never been easy on me.


  52. says

    I also trained for my first 1/2 (this February!) entirely on a treadmill! It worked out great. I’m actually one those people who actually prefers running on a treadmill than outside for a bunch of reasons:
    1) I live in a city, so it’s polluted and I don’t want to be breathing in exhaust for 50% of my run, even though I might not notice
    2) Though training on the surface you will be running on makes a lot of sense, running on a concrete is less than ideal for your joints, so the treadmill is a lot lower impact
    3) I live in Canada, so 80% of my training took place when it was way to freaking cold to run outside (I’m definitely not one of those runners…)
    4) I actually find it more entertaining to run in a gym, the energy psyches me up, and like you said, I don’t have to worry about pacing out a route, weather, safety, etc.
    So I totally recommend it!


  53. says

    I do so much of my running on the treadmill when I’m not training for any races. Mainly because I choose to run incredibly early in the morning when its still dark out and I don’t feel totally safe running outside then. It works for me because I LOVE catching up on my DVR and just relaxing. But I do love love love when I get the chance to run outside.


  54. Shari says

    Until the last 5 years, I’ve always trained for races with a mix of indoor and outdoor running. About 5 years ago, I tore the ACL and the medial meniscus in my left knee. Once everything was repaired and properly healed, I started running again. Again a mix of indoor and outdoor running. Then I tore the medial meniscus in my right knee and had another surgery. Now I train for any race, 10K or 1/2 marathon, on a treadmill. I do add the incline and will also do some speed work. I love running outside, but the pounding is brutal on my knees so I’ll stick with the indoor thing. I have run only one 1/2 marathon since the last knee surgery about 2 years ago. Not my best time, but I did okay and wasn’t sore afterward. I guess we all have our challenges.


  55. says

    I can not run on a treadmill for more than 5 miles. Regardless of what is on TV I just lose all interest. I kind of have a love-hate relationship with running. One moment I’m really excited about it and other times I would be happy if I never had to run again.


  56. Vivian says

    this might be a little off topic but hopefully you can answer – a while back I remember you said you were working on a t-shirt for your website, and was just wondering, what happened to that? I really wanted a pbfingers shirt hehe…


  57. Angela says

    Hey Julie – long time lurking reader here. Just wanted to finally pop in and thank you for this post! I’ve been thinking about doing a half marathon and usually run exclusively on treadmills since my horrible allergies always kick in when I try to run outside. The fact that you trained on a treadmill for a successful half marathon is definitely encouraging though 🙂


  58. heather says

    if someone really has to do their training on a treadmill alone, then i say it’s better that than not doing it at all 🙂 but, if you’re training for a particular race, i do think elements are missing on a treadmill – naturally occuring changes in surface, the elements, and def. the pounding. i get way less sore on a treadmill than i do on the asphalt. one might be in for a surprise after a few miles of impact during a race and certainly the soreness once its finished. the other thing is, figuring out hydration. on a treadmill, you can pop your water in a holder next to you. when you’re outside you have to figure out how to carry it – in your hand, in a belt, if in belt will you have the water vertical, horizontal? a backpack. doesn’t sound like a big deal, but messing around with my water does affect my rhythm and focus.


  59. says

    I pretty much do all my training runs on a treadmill EXCEPT for my long runs. I’m the same way and am crazy paranoid about safety so if my boy-friend can’t ride his bike next to me while I run 11 miles + than I’m not running that far haha.


  60. says

    I actually do a lot of my runs on treadmills when training. In the winter, it’s cold, so that’s my excuse then. But in general, its mentally easier to just “go to the gym” then to set out to run 8 miles, etc. Plus there is always the security that you can hop off if needed, where if you run 4 miles out and need/want to stop, then you still need to come 4 miles back. Also since I mainly run alone and live in the city, it;s a bit safer to run indoors than outside, especially in the winter when it gets dark early and stays dark for later. There’s always horror stories about people who get attacked when running alone in the dark, and I definitely don’t want that to happen.


  61. says

    This post was really motivating for me!
    I have been in a runner’s rut recently and now I am just itching to go out for a run! Congrats on all of your running milestones!


  62. says

    For some reason I cannot even run 1 mile on a treadmill, I get so dizzy and have to grip for my life the entire time…so props to you for running 13 miles on one!!


  63. says

    I am training for a full marathon now. And I mix it up a little. I like to do some shorter runs on the treadmill, it gives me a chance to play with my speed a little, and I think that will help me get faster! The furthest I have gone is 5 miles though…


  64. says

    Great topic today. Funny thing is, I’m training for my first half marathon solely on my treadmill. I have the same safey concerns, even though we live in a safe area. My husband doesn’t run because he banged them up playing basketball in high school and college. The only concern I have is the humidity. It’s humid where we live and while I’m used to it, I know it might make my running more difficult when I eventually run the half outside.Since you live in Florida, I know you deal with humidity as well, how did that effect your first half?


  65. Christal says

    Im so excited I read this! Im training for the timkerbell half marathon this Jan and I have done alot fo running outside all last year with my BFF. But with warm weather and my 2 kids home during the summer outside wasnt a option, so I got a treadmill. Im about to start my training and like being out of the heat and sun, not to mention Im a bit nervice to run alone on a trail (BFF works full time now and cant run with me). I do want to do some runs here and there outside, but this makes me feel better running 70% of my training on my treadmill.


  66. Melissa says

    Thanks for this post. I am training for my first half marathon. I can’t keep up with schedules and I feel safer on the treadmill also.
    It’s good to know it’s possible – even if it’s not the best finish time….I just want to do it and finish it


  67. Laura says

    Just found this post-hope it’s not too late to add. I prefer the treadmill due to major stomach issues (especially on long runs) so my anxiety level is much lower knowing I’m near a restroom. Not good for race day but it helped calm me down for some long runs. I did 9 miles on the treadmill once, with one bathroom break. It definitely was boring after a while, but I am proud I did the nine miles.


  68. Ravi says

    I am 47 and started running a little more than a year. Completed a few 5 k in 32 mins, now training for my first half marathon. Been training in treadmill and outdoors, almost 50/50. Been reading a lot of blogs and all I can get from you guys. Thank you.


    • Meghan says

      I live where during the summer its going to be 90 degrees even at 6 am in the morning. Training on a treadmill is almost a have too. I do plan on doing some of my runs out side but for the sake of safety I need to train on a treadmill. My first half is in November and summers here are no joke.


  69. Naomi says

    Thanks for this! I am training for my second half but I have had 3 kids since the first one and since none of them are in school yet I got a treadmill to make running easier. I don’t mind running on it most days especially cause I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to running outside in the cold! I am planning to start doing all my long runs outside on the weekend when my hubby is home! Thanks for the inspiration!


  70. Emily says

    I know this is totally random, but a the top picture in this post of you and Ryan crossing the finish line hand-in-hand popped up on my Facebook feed as a meme from a radio station! I think the caption says “This could be us… but we like pizza and netflix”

    I saw it and was like… hmmm… I think that’s from pbfingers…. and it is! Did you know they were using your picture??


  71. says

    Thank you for this post! I am running my first half in November, but training on anything but a treadmill is going to be rough because A) It’s June in Florida and it’s hot as balls outside B) I have three girls, and they don’t make triple joggers. Thanks for letting me know that it IS possible to train on a treadmill.



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